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Lately you may have noticed a similar, reoccurring name being mentioned in my newsletter: Weston A. Price. This of course begs the question: who is Weston A. Price?

Dr. Weston A. Price (DDS) was a dentist who traveled around the world studying primitive cultures that still consumed their traditional diet. The results that he found were very shocking: many of these cultures had little to no tooth decay despite (of course) never brushing their teeth in their lives and there was no crowding or need for correcting. Dr. Price then noticed that the ones with the best teeth were also in the best of health. What Dr. Price did was document what these people ate and he found certain similarities in the diets of the healthiest of them.

Dr. Price found that these cultures ate a variety of foods, consumed a high amount of fat (particularly from animals), and would prepare their foods in traditional ways (like fermentation and long-boil bone broths). The collective information of Dr. Price’s work was chronicled in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Years after his death, the work of Dr. Price lives on through the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). The WAPF is headed by Sally Fallon (author of Eat Fat Lose Fat, and Nourishing Traditions) along with help from Dr. Mary Enig (a biochemist renown for her knowledge and research of fats).

What I really like about the WAPF as well as the work of Dr. Price is that it is not based on a theory; it is simply based on the direct observation of individuals who lived incredibly healthy lives. Most all diet gurus will base their work (which they proclaim to be the #1 diet for you) on their own personal theory of consuming certain foods more, or in certain proportions, or eschewing certain food groups. But when we take a look at traditional diets, we see that those who still follow them are very healthy despite eating all these things that we’ve been lead to believe are unhealthy. Saturated fat is a great example: Tibet has a very low heart disease rate despite butter being a huge dietary staple.

I have been slowly incorporating the suggestions of the WAPF into my diet over the past year and for the first time I sincerely have noticed a difference in my health. During this time I’ve not been sick once (previously, 2 – 4 a year was normal) and I really can’t think of anytime in my life when this has happened. Likely, the reason is the increase of rich fats in my diet containing cholesterol as well as vitamins A and D; all three of which help the immune system.

Nourishing Our Children came up with an awesome food pyramid that visually shows how we should ideally eat:

At the bottom is the most nourishing of foods that Dr. Price found had made the base of these traditional diets: high vitamin butter, eggs, organ meats, raw milk, and seafood. The second tier involves (obviously) organic vegetables of all kinds. On the third tier we find fermented and soaked grains (which I’ll be talking about soon!), and lastly we have fruits at the top. Generally I’m not a fan of food pyramids, but I really, really like this one. It isn’t especially rigid in that it doesn’t suggest portions in great detail and it’s flexible.

If you’ve seen What the World Eats, you’ll know that different cultures eat different ways. Dr. Price’s research found that the healthiest of the groups he studied had certain dietary habits in common, which can be summarized as:

  • There were no refined or denatured foods.
  • Every diet contained animal products.
  • Traditional diets were nutrient dense containing high levels of vitamins and minerals.
  • All cultures cooked some or most of their food … but they always ate some of their animal foods raw.
  • There were high levels of enzymes and beneficial bacteria.
  • Seeds, grains, legumes and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened.
  • The total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30% to 80% of calories, but only about 4% of calories come from polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Traditional diets contained nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • All diets contained some salt.
  • All traditional cultures made use of bones, usually as bone broth.
  • Traditional cultures made provisions for future generations.

The Weston A. Price Foundation suggests the following dietary guidelines: gelatin-rich bone broths at least once per week; sea food at least once per week (especially nutrient-rich salmon and oysters); all animal products should come from pastured animals; obviously no refined or processed foods; use honey and maple as your primary sweeteners, but if you use sugar then use rapadura/sucanat sugar which is the least refined and closest to sugar cane; grains should be fermented and soaked; use lots of high-vitamin butter from local pasture-fed cows, as this is the #1 nutrient dense food containing an array of beneficial fatty acids.

For some reason, certain groups (generally members of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, a vegan front-group masquerading as a scientific body promoting the pinnacle of health) try to make the claim that the Weston A. Price Foundation is either in bed with the Meat and Dairy Industry or that somehow their dietary suggestions help them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The WAPF encourages everyone to consume meat and dairy from pasture-fed animals coming from local farms. The buying club that I belong to (which is made up of WAPF members and was originally directly connected to the WAPF) helps me get pastured animal products from a small local farm, and there are buying clubs like this all over the country. Without this buying club, I would not have access to raw milk, pastured chicken, and many other pastured meats.

The WAPF is also responsible for the Campaign for Real Milk that helps people find raw milk in their area, as well as the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which helps farmers suffering from legal issues for selling raw milk as well as help ensure that all Americans have access to farm fresh raw milk.

There is of course much more to Dr. Price and the WAPF, but the purpose of this article is to serve as a brief overview. More articles will come in the future explaining various principles of the WAPF’s dietary suggestions as well as other findings of Dr. Price.

Lately in my newsletter I’ve been talking a lot about animal products and pastured meats and generally meat-eater kinda stuff. There’s a reason for this of course. A few reasons, actually. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I learned about the nutrient density in animal products and that there are many animal products that are actually incredibly nutrient dense. Butter, oysters, raw milk, grass fed beef, pastured chicken eggs, and yogurt all make the top 14 list. Butter is actually at the #1 spot and in the much-lauded book Nourishing Traditions there are a full 2 pages dedicated just to butter. Who would’ve ever thought, right?

I am on one hand baffled that I never knew that these foods were so nutrient rich until recently since I am always reading about something related to nutrition. On the other hand, I’m not so surprised when I look at the fact that 98% of the time when either people think about healthy, nutrient rich food or when nutritional professionals mention these foods, they’re talking about various vegetables and other plant foods. Don’t get me wrong, I was probably the only kid that really liked spinach and I like my miso soup with wakame (seaweed), but I’ve never been the type to put 2/3 of vegetables on my plate next to my main course (or make vegetables the main course!). This constant push for plant foods and my bioindividuality clashing against it really made me confused. I thought I had to accept this specific way (somehow) but then I found out that the truth had been held from me. When I learned more about animal products and nutrient density, I was amazed; astonished perhaps. After so many years studying nutrition, here finally was something I had never read before in the same sentence: animals product & nutrient dense.

I have known individuals who, in disgust of factory farming, have become vegetarian almost in protest of what is going on. I find myself doing something almost similar in a way. I am tired of how the full spectrum of food is ignored and most of the talk about healthy food is focused solely on plant foods. Due to this, I want to promote a better understanding of animal products and their relationship to positive health. So therefore, you’ll see more articles from me about animal products and how great they are.

Now, for a clarification. Despite my glowing promotion of animal products and pastured meats, don’t get confused and think that I am saying that this is the only way to good health. There is no such thing as a singular way to good health! Take a look at the cultural diets of various people around the world. There are people who eat lots of grains, and there are people who eat lots of meat, and likewise there are individuals that eat no meat (like Buddhist monks). There are many ways to good health, and they all involve eating fresh, local, whole foods.  Never forget that and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

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